I have so much to be grateful for, I feel like my heart could burst. I need it to keep on ticking, though, so I will keep this short and sweet. With Thanksgiving upon us, I want to wish you all a very happy holiday and extend my gratitude to each of you for building such a lovely community.
To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it that you do.
I know Thankgiving is an American holiday, but thanksgiving is a human act. And such an important one. With so much to be grateful for – this year, more so than ever, it seems – I’m enjoying a little quiet time and counting my blessings. I hope you and yours are having a lovely, lovely holiday.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I can’t help but be mindful of the many reasons I have to be grateful. The love and support of my husband, family and friends tops them all. Faith, health, shelter and security are not far behind. I am grateful for all the luxuries I am afforded, and the things I often take for granted.
As I schedule my workouts for the week, I am reminded just how thankful I am for fitness – for the privilege of having time each day to devote to wellness and to challenging myself, and for the communities that have grown from commitments like marathon training, CrossFit-ing, my motley soccer team and fledgling yoga practice.
Looking to get after it and give back this week? There are a number of great events in town this week that are worth checking out.
Ultimate Bootcamp is holding the 5th annual Thanksgiving Day 90 minute Bootcamp Blast for charity, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to three different local nonprofit organizations, on Thanksgiving morning. Workouts will be held in Boston (to benefit St. Francis House) from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; in Providence (to benefit Providence Parks & Rec) from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; and in Watertown (to benefit the Watertown Boys & Girls Club) from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. I can vouch for how awesome Ultimate Bootcamp workouts are, and know that starting the day off with a little sweating and a lot of giving back can only be a good thing.
Boston Volvo Village 5K benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter – log 3.1 miles on Thanksgiving morning before sitting down for dinner.
As much as I’ve loved being away (and floating around on Cloud 9), I am happy to be back to my regular ol’ routine. I made it to the gym twice while we were away, swam my little heart out, and walked everywhere in the 85 degree heat, but still came home missing CrossFit and the usual grind. I’m looking forward to setting out my workout gear before crawling into bed tonight.
The air in Boston is so crisp lately – perfect for layering, and not so cold that I’ve attempted stowing away on another flight to the Caribbean… yet. I’ve been getting compliments left and right on my new Reebok RealFlex Fusion TRs and their screaming orange laces. The shoes were designed to support a natural foot strike for runners, while also providing cushioning and flexibility for jumping, stretching and other natural movements. I’ve worn them on shorter runs, for plyometrics, and weight training and find they work well for days when I am fitting in a combination of strength and cardio. In addition to these kicks, Reebok also sent me their new Play Dry jacket.
It was the perfect outer layer on this weekend’s ride through Mystic, and has been great for going to and from the box. Despite being a “slim fit,” I find it runs a tad big (I have it in a size small — I am definitely more of a medium human being — and it’s still a bit loose), but the fabric wicks really well and lining is very cozy. Oh… and bonus points for the thumb holes, of course.
For the record: Reebok sent me these items at no cost, and my opinions are mine, all mine. Also, I wish I had invented thumb holes. I really do.
As you well know, I won’t be touching the turkey. I might touch the sweet potatoes, though. Multiple times.
Tomorrow is all about being thankful, which is easy when you have so much: good health, strong faith, the love of a lifetime, parents who lead by example, siblings I adore, friends that feel like family, creative outlets, work that I am passionate about, a safe and happy home, more than enough to eat, more than enough to wear, and more than enough to spend. Twenty-four hours is far too few for a day like Thanksgiving.
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] That’s what I would say if I won an Oscar. But, LBS (That stands for let’s be serious. Amazingly, that acronym has yet to catch on.)… ain’t gonna happen. So instead I would like to thank the people who got me to where I am today (figuratively, not literally sitting on my couch in yoga pants).
Thank you, Mom and Dad. You are the woman and the man! You have never failed to support me, to show me love, and to set an incredible example for how to treat people. You always make me feel so special (like, actually special not special-special).
Thank you, Jimmy, Andrea, and Christopher. You are the best siblings a girl could ask for, even though you’ve all been guilty of at least one of the following offenses:
Telling me that Santa was bringing me a new computer the year mine literally caught fire and deleted all of my French papers… even though Santa was doing no such thing.
Threatening to put cut up hot dogs in my bed.
Breaking the head off my Anna Nicole Smith bobble head. Just months before the real Anna Nicole passed. Coincidence? You be the judge.
Saying I look like a poodle.
…And all the other bad things I can’t remember at the moment.
I love all four of you so much and feel very lucky to be related to you because that means you always have to love me, even if you don’t like me. And you’re going to have to spend time with me (on holidays, at the very least) for the rest of our lives.
Thank you, Nick, for being my smarter, funnier, better-looking half. I am so very lucky.
Thank you, Clark, for getting me out of bed earlier than usual, for taking me to place I’ve never been (like, the pet store, for example), and for always being down to snuggle or wear reindeer antlers or play a game (I invented) called “I’m spyin’ on you, ’cause I’m Russian!”
Thank you, friends, for always giving me a reason to smile. And, of course, I am so thankful for each and every one of you, for stopping by and encouraging me to continue to be silly, rambling and incoherent. I really appreciate you and I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Also On Tap for Today:
Dinner with Kristine before she heads back to New Jersey
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] When I was younger (like, 6-12 months younger), I had a habit of giving change and small bills to people who asked for it, as I walked or drove by. For the most part, these were people I saw every day, on my way to and from meetings and appointments.
Not that long ago, I watched someone– an older man I’d see by the bank most mornings– ask a man dressed in a suit and BC hat if he could spare some change for food. I already had my hand in my pocket, fishing for change. My fellow Eagle (or maybe he just bought the hat at Marshalls? Surely this was not a man educated by Jesuits) did not reach into his pocket. “What don’t you get a job,” he sneered and hurried by.
Is it possible for your heart, jaw and stomach to all drop at once? I wanted to say something, but nothing came out. I still regret that. I gave the older man what was in my pocket, smiled and continued to the bank. “God bless you,” he called after me. I am pretty sure that was his reply to the a-hole in the Eagles hat, too. I know. I shouldn’t say a-hole.
Here’s the thing. Or… Here are the things. I don’t know what he did with the money. I don’t know what anyone that I’ve given change or a few bucks to does with the money. I hope they buy food, but who knows? At the time, that really didn’t matter. Did I have spare change? Yes. Was the amount insignificant enough that I wouldn’t need it that day or the next? Yes. Was the amount significant to be helpful? I don’t really know, but if I had to guess, probably not.
I’ve talked to Nick and my parents about this and everyone seems to agree; that is to say, they disagree with me. There are better ways to help than doling out dimes and nickles, ways that don’t involve risks to personal safety or potentially contributing to other people’s problems. It was my dad who suggested giving the money to the institutions doing incredible work in our city to care for the hungry, homeless, those battling addiction, or needing health care. Thank goodness I am surrounded by geniuses. I am taking applications for life coaches, by the way. Yes, I think I need more than one.
Anyway. I started keeping a can in my car.
Any time anyone has asked me for change lately, I’ve politely refused and then added what change I did have to the can. As of this morning, I had enough to buy a turkey for a local family through The Greater Boston Food Bank’s Turkey Drive. It sort of gives new meaning to spare change for food, wouldn’t you say?
When my mom turned fifty a year older, my siblings and I had the genius idea to buy her a pair of love birds. I think, technically, I had the idea and convinced them to go along with it… but once you hear how this stroke of genius ended (possibly with an actual bird stroke), you’ll realize I’m not bragging. More like, taking the blame.
I did a little research (not a lot), and Andrea and I went where the pets go (Petco) and picked up a very cute pair of peach-faced loved birds. They were packaged in what was basically an unmarked Munchins box. The sales person pet specialist told us they’d chirp the whole way home. The didn’t move or make a peep. An anxiety riddled half hour passed. Then came the “how to move them from the munchkin box to the cage” debacle. Several anxiety riddle hours passed. Somehow, the transfer was completed.
Allegedly, the birds were from Madagascar, but they could’ve been from Medford, for all we knew. To this day, we have no idea if they were male or female or one of each, but we thought they were both males and named them Brewster and Harwich, for our favorite places on the Cape. We loved how surprised Mom was when she and Dad got home from her birthday dinner. She asked, “Are these really for me?” That was my favorite part. Of the entire lives of these birds.
Which… um… for Brewster was two months. Like many other birds across the country, Brewster sadly met his end on Thanksgiving. Mom and I took him to an animal hospital, where he was incubated in what looked like an aquarium. Apparently he had some disease (weird, our Petco Pal said those missing feathers were due to molting…) and needed to be euthanized.
I am not making any of this up.
So while the vets prepared a very small needle, my mom and I stood in the ICU, which was essentially a small room filled with various dying species, including a parrot whose feet had been bitten off by his cage mate and a dog experiencing kidney failure.
I don’t think I have ever experienced anything more awkward.
We worried that Harwich would be depressed without his questionably better half, but he seemed to thrive as an only birdchild for several years. He was an adventurous fellow, completing solo flights to the top of the Christmas tree and to the dark recesses behind the entertainment center. If I was the Bird Whisperer, I would imagine his favorite part of the day was when my parents uncovered and fed him and he got to stare out the window at the uncivilized birds in the yard.
Sadly, just days after this Thanksgiving, Harwich… flew to heaven (I figure if all dogs go to heaven, lovebirds probably do too). Bye, bye, birdie. Hello, hello, shopping for new pets for Mom and Dad. I’m kidding… I promise I will never do that again.
Also On Tap for Today:
Puppy/human obedience class (must remember to not wear high heels)
I’m aware it’s not Thanksgiving… yet. If I had it my way, though, we’d skip right over it and celebrate Christmas. I don’t always have it my way (this is not Burger King), so for those of you who love a good drumstick, rest easy. You can even celebrate early if you’d like. Veterans’ Day is a pretty appropriate time to give thanks.
If, like me, you have today off, you’re probably feeling pretty lucky. And thankful. We have so many servicemen and women, veterans and their families to thank on this Veterans’ Day. In a perfect world, there would be no war, no armed conflict, no one waiting for their sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and parents to come home. It probably goes without saying that this is not a perfect world. But I’ll keep my two cents two myself, for once. Instead, here are a few holy cents. St. Ambrose said, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” So with that, thank you.
Baseball and patriotism: Took this picture on Opening Day at Fenway Park.
Here are a few ways we might consider returning our thanks: